Ex Catholics! (The Sad story of ex-Catholics who did not know their faith)

Ex-Catholics are among the people who make me the most sad. This is because they have left the Catholic Church, which is the one true Church that Jesus started, and the reality is that most every one of them leave for emotional and not intellectual reasons. In other words, they are either duped by the first religion that comes to their door that points out the bible and seems plausible, or just walk away all together. The truth is that most never performed a deep study before leaving to see if what they were walking away from was true. (If you would like to watch our YouTube video on this instead, click here).

Ex-Catholics Never Knew their Faith

Most ex-Catholics have not even read a single book from the Catholic Church, or from any Catholic for that matter which explains the faith. So, how would they know their own religion? For this reason, ex-Catholics become anti-Catholics because they then receive their information about Catholicism from other anti-Catholic sources who themselves do not understand the Catholic religion.

From decades of experience, most Anti-Catholics know nothing about Catholicism or Catholic history, and worse, they present countless accusations that are not true in the first place. These are known as straw man arguments. Consequently, when Ex-Catholics leave the Church, some go and “study the faith” but from non-Catholic sources who themselves have never read a single Catholic book and remain ignorant as to what Catholics really believe.

Archbishop Fulton Sheen once stated: “There are not a handful of people in America who hate the Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they mistakenly believe is the Catholic Church.”

When ex-Catholics and anti-Catholics are asked, “How many books have you read that were written by a Catholic from beginning to end?” So far, almost 100% of the time, they have not read even a single book that explains the Catholic faith.

Conversely, I could offer many books that I have read on anti-Catholicism, books that are against the Catholic faith from other religions. I have studied both sides and know the arguments well. Ex-Catholics think they know the Catholic faith well, and yet cannot even demonstrate a basic understanding of Catholic doctrine. Worse, they make outlandish claims that Catholics don’t even come close to believing.

That is because anti-Catholics who have a vendetta do not study both sides. They appear to be afraid of truth. They will come up with things like, “Catholics worship Mary, and I used to be a Catholic so I know.” The problem is, they don’t know. I always ask, “Where does the Catholic Church teach her people to worship Mary? Show me just one place from an official Catholic source, or the official Catechism of the Catholic Church.”

For those who don’t know, the Catechism contains what Catholics believe. It is like an encyclopedia of Catholic beliefs. It also shows where we get our beliefs from the Bible and from history. So, show me one place in this official source where it teaches Catholics to worship Mary. Anyone who dares to try will discover the opposite. In paragraphs 2084 and 2112 of the Catechism, it states that we are supposed to worship God alone.

There is no God except for God. Mary is not a God but a mere human, and all idolatry is condemned by the Catholic Church. If a Catholic does worship Mary, then they are going against their own religion and need to be reproved.

Catholics practice sorcery! Common Ex-Catholic and anti-Catholic Myths

“Did you know that for Catholics, Mary is the fourth person of the Trinity? She is a goddess!! Did you know that Catholics actually worship the Pope? He tells them what to do in everything. Did you know that Catholics believe in many gods because they pray to Saints. It’s Polytheism!! Did you know that Catholics practice witchcraft and sorcery?

Ex-Catholics make all sorts of crazy and outlandish claims that they would be embarrassed about if they did any sort of real research. Many ex-Catholics will assert, “I was a Catholic. I was a Catholic for 20 years and I went to Catholic school and made my Sacraments, and so I know the Catholic faith!”

Yet, they have the audacity to claim that Catholics worship Mary, the Saints, statues, and other elementary mistakes. Clearly, they knew nothing of their faith before they walked away. They never thought to fact-check or verify the things they learn. Many ex-Catholics have such a vendetta for the Church, that they become gullible and believe anything they are told without question. Worse, they want these claims to be true to justify their exit.

There is no teaching about worshipping Mary as God, or that she is on par with Jesus, or anything of the sort anywhere in 2,000 years of Catholic history. Here are a couple actual comments from my YouTube channel, from Ex-Catholics. I won’t mention their names but you can see how outlandish some of their claims are:

“Catholics pray to their gods, not to God. Their prayers are not answered. The Mary of the Roman Catholic Church is a combination of pagan goddesses merged into one and named Mary by the early church. The ‘saints’ are demons. When Catholics pray the Our Father, they don’t believe that He is the only one that answers prayers and they don’t believe that Jesus Christ is the only mediator. They believe that Mary as Jesus’ mother has the authority to give her Son orders and he will always obey her.”

Give her Son orders, wow! Where did the Church ever teach that? The Catholic Church has taught for 2000 years that there is only one God! Therefore, we do not pray to other gods. It would be helpful to see some information proving this assertion of theirs, even one quote. Yet, they never offer evidence or back up their false claims.

It would also be interesting to know how saints are “demons” since Saints in heaven are just ordinary people like you and me who followed Jesus and lived lives of holiness. The Bible states that all Christians are saints (Romans 1:7, for example). The Catholic Church also considers everyone in heaven a saint. For this person to say that all saints (everyone in heaven and all who are part of the Christian church), are demons is really fallacious and quite the sort of extremism we see from anti-Catholics.

Many times it derives from emotional anger and hurt which is why they can be obnoxious, insulting, rude, and condemnatory. It’s raw emotion. It’s hurt. It’s guilt. It’s many things, but it’s not truth. This is why, no matter how in your face ex-Catholics can be, we need to love them with the love of Jesus and show Christ-like patience

Proof in the Pudding!

Anyone who ventures to open the Catechism will find that it states that only God is God, and the Source of everything, even answered prayers. Catholics ask the Saints in heaven to pray for us, just as we ask each other to pray for us.

Ex-Catholics may retort that, “Saints are dead, and you Catholics are just talking to dead people. They cannot hear you or do anything.” The astute Catholic will reply saying, “Actually the Bible shows that the Saints in heaven are alive, and that they are in Heaven.”

Jesus Himself spoke with two “dead people,” Moses and Elijah, in Matthew chapter 17. This is because they’re not dead, but alive in heaven and alive in Christ! God said in the Bible that He is “not the God of the living the dead but of the living.” Therefore, when we die we are not rotting in the graves without any consciousness. That is such an Old Testament and Jewish worldview. Check out Revelations 6. It shows people in Heaven under the altar. Guess what? They are not only alive, but they are talking to Jesus. Moreover, they are conscious and remember what happened to them on earth. Ultimately Christians believe that because Christ died and rose again, and opened the doors to heaven, we may go to Heaven when we die.

Addressing Catholic praying to a pagan goddess is like trying to defend why a Triangle has 5 sides. It’s just so far from true, it need not be entertained. Catholics do not believe Mary to be a goddess. Period.

Saved by Faith Alone?

Here is one more ex-Catholic response we have received on our YouTube channel:

“Catholics are going to Hell. The Bible is absolutely clear that we are saved by faith. No amount of ‘good works’ (including giving to the poor, attending church services, praying to Mary or the saints, rosary beads, candles, confession, the sacraments, and numerous other rituals demanded by the Roman Catholic authorities) will satisfy the wrath of God against sinners. These will not save you poor Catholics. Furthermore, in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, it teaches that eternal life is attained by faith, baptism, and the commandments.”

And then they go on to say how all of this is false.

A rare ex-Catholic who has looked in the Catechism! This ex-Catholic condemns the Catholic Church for believing that Baptism and following the commandments are a necessary part of the salvation process. The only trouble is that it’s what the Bible states too.

1 John  2:3-4 says that we are saved by following the commandments, and anyone who doesn’t is a liar who does not follow Jesus. In fact, Jesus says the exact same thing in the book of Matthew. Someone comes up to Jesus and says, “Good Master, what must I do to be saved?” And Jesus said, “Follow the commandments.” So, in order to be saved, we not only must have faith, but must also follow the commandments.

The scriptures are pretty clear that baptism saves you. See 1 Peter 3:21 where it specifically states that “baptism now saves you.” Not that baptism itself saves, but Jesus and his body and blood saves us through baptism. This is why Mark 16:16 also says that “he who believes and is baptized will be saved.” Romans 6:1-11 discusses being born again through baptism, which is exactly what John 3:5 talks about when it mentions being born again by “water and the Spirit.”

These are the things that Catholics did not know before they left the faith.

Next, when this Ex-Catholic claims that Catholics try to do works to get to heaven, that is untrue. The Catholic Church teaches that we are saved by faith, but it’s not an intellectual faith only (even the Devil has that); it’s a faith that works, which is exactly what James says in all of chapter 2 of his Epistle.

Lastly, this ex-Catholic mentions Rosary beads and candles and many other things that are all straw man arguments. For example, no Catholic believes that candles save them. Where did this information come from?

The Rosary is a prayer, and prayer is useful as Scripture teaches. This person also mentioned that Confession won’t save you. Except that Jesus started Confession and gave men the authority to forgive sins in His name (John 20:21-23). If you would like to see our shorter video on this topic, click here.

Many things this ex-Catholic listed that “save us” does not actually save us, and Catholics already believe that. Only Jesus saves! But, many of these things can benefit us in our faith, like praying the rosary, which is a meditation on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Here is the video on that if you would like a deeper understanding of why Catholics pray the rosary.

Ex Catholics need to learn the truth … and live in truth!

These are just some of the many, many things we hear from Ex-Catholics, but we pray for each and every one of them a lot – especially since so many ex-Catholics end up returning to the Catholic faith and coming home to the fullness of truth!

If you are an Ex-Catholic, I would beseech you to just read one Catholic book. I have many, but I recommend one to begin with: Catholicism and Fundamentalism: The Attack on Romanism by Bible Christians. It is a good comparison as to what anti-Catholics claim and then what Catholics actually believe.

If God is a God of truth (which He is), then for ex-Catholics to spread lies and half-truths about the Catholic faith is not living in truth or in Christ. It is best for someone to first find the actual truth in regard to Catholic beliefs and then show why they disagree rather than just emotionally vomiting that all Catholics are going to hell, are all evil, idiots, brain dead, the Whore of Babylon, and so much more.

Insults cannot replace mature, intellectual arguments.

That is not the way Jesus lived or would wish us to live. He desires for us to be kind, loving, and gentle. So, I beseech you, check out the Catholic faith for real. If you have any questions, thoughts, or comments, feel free to put them in the comments section below.

Thanks for reading and God bless you!

See the recommended reading below…

  1. **”Catholicism and Fundamentalism: Attacks on “Romanism” by “Bible Christians.” (One of the BEST books on defending the Catholic faith against Protestants and anti-Catholics. A classic and must read). – https://goo.gl/fNxXuB
  2. **“Pope Fiction: Answers to 30 Myths & Misconceptions About the Papacy” by Patrick Madrid. https://amzn.to/2BWbPn1
  3. “Seven Lies about Catholic History: infamous myths about the church’s past and how to answer them” by Diane Moczar. https://amzn.to/2wIlcRt
  4. **Surprised by Truth! (11 Converts to the Catholic Church, their stories and their biblical, historical, and personal reasons why. A GREAT read!) – https://goo.gl/1gvgAM
  5. “A biblical defense of Catholicism” by Dave Armstrong. https://amzn.to/2Q6XI1x
  6. Search and Rescue: How to bring your family and friends back – or back into – the Catholic church” by Patrick Madrid. https://amzn.to/2NLUi2z
  7. **“By what authority? An evangelical discovers Catholic Tradition” by Mark Shea. https://amzn.to/2wF1Spe
  8. **“Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic” by David Currie. https://amzn.to/2LzmSly
  9. “The Case for Catholicism – Answers to classic and contemporary objections.” (This is the most up-to-date, comprehensive, and thorough defense of the Catholic Church against Protestant objections in print). – https://goo.gl/RwtpWy

About Bryan Mercier

Bryan Mercier is a professional Catholic speaker, retreat leader, author, YouTuber, and a Catholic apologist who has been teaching and preaching for almost two decades. He has also been aired on TV and radio in different states, including Relevant Radio, Ave Maria Radio, Sirius XM Satellite, and EWTN. He is the founder of "Catholic Truth," a non-profit dedicated to the New Evangelization and helping Catholics to know, love, and live their faith with purpose and passion each day!
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2 Responses to Ex Catholics! (The Sad story of ex-Catholics who did not know their faith)

  1. Peter says:

    Hello CatholicBryan,

    You say: “….the reality is that most every one of them leave for emotional and not intellectual reasons.”

    That is a very sweeping statement! How many ex-Catholics have you actually spoken to and asked their reasons for leaving? Please give us some statistics. I certainly did not leave for emotional reasons!

    You say: ” The truth is that most never performed a deep study before leaving to see if what they were walking away from was true. Most ex-Catholics have not even read a single book from the Catholic Church, or from any Catholic for that matter which explains the faith.”

    Not true-I have read the:

    1) Catechism of the Catholic Church, St Pauls, Official 1st Edition for Australia & NZ, 3rd printing, April 1998.

    2) The New St Joseph Baltimore Catechism N0.2 Catholic Book Publishing Co, NY

    3) The Canons & Decrees of the Council of Trent, Rev. H.J. Schroeder, TAN Books 1978

    4) This is The Faith: A COMPLETE Explanation of the Catholic Faith by Canon Francis Ripley, 3rd Ed, TAN BOOKS

    5) The Faith of Our Fathers by Cardinal Gibbons, 59th Ed, John Murphy Co.,1902

    6) The Q & A Catholic Catechism by J.A Hardon, Society of Jesuits, 1981

    7) Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma by Dr. Ludwig Ott, 1960, TAN Books

    So, no I certainly did not leave for “emotional” reasons!

    You say: “I always ask, “Where does the Catholic Church teach her people to worship Mary? Show me just one place from an official Catholic source, or the official Catechism of the Catholic Church.”

    Here you go: The Glories of Mary by St Alphonsus Liguori a Doctor of the Roman Catholic Church-if anyone can read this book and say the good doctor is not promulgating worship of Mary, they are either deluded or dishonest, or more than likely both.

    And this: “The Church’s devotion to the BV is intrinsic to Christian WORSHIP” para. #971, Catechism of the Catholic Church.

    Please don’t give me the explanation of “you don’t understand Latria and Hyperdulia.” Yes I do, and furthermore despite what you may say or the “official” teaching of the Church maybe, the actions and words of Roman Catholic devotees to Mary paints a completely different picture, Oh I forgot to mention I have also read, Legio Mariae, The Official Handbook of the Legion of Mary!

    I trust you will now amend your article/YouTube video accordingly stating you have now come across at least ONE ex-Catholic who didn’t leave because of “emotional” reasons-Thanks.

  2. Peter says:

    Addendum:

    You may wish to look into why ex-priests Bart Brewer and Richard Bennett left the Roman Catholic Church, if you do, I believe you will find it wasn’t because of “emotional” reasons.

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